Time machine: October 2005

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Here’s another installment of our Time Machine series… when we take a look back at what we were blogging about a year ago this month.

Terrence Howard’s real-life “Crash” moment

crashWhen Oprah interviewed the cast of Crash, she asked each person to tell their own “real-life Crash moment.” No, not a moment in which they were embroiled in a completely unrealistic situation with two-dimensional Asian caricatures and absurd dialogue, but a moment in which they personally experienced the effects of racism.

Terrence Howard told the story of how his father got into a fight that ultimately put him in jail and landed his family in poverty. But according to some of the comments that were left in response to our post, some believe he took a bit of artistic license in his interpretation of the story. Here’s the beginning of Terrence’s story:

“I’m the product of a mixed marriage: My father’s actually mixed and my mother is mixed but my father looks more white than my mom,” Terrence explains. “We’re at a department store in 1972, right before Christmas, and my mom’s taking us all around to go get clothes and my dad’s standing in the Santa Claus line. … My dad is 5-foot-8, weighs 125 pounds. There’s a guy standing behind him [who is] 6′-4″, weighs about 260. The man said, ‘Why did you let those niggers cut you?’ And my daddy said, ‘This is my wife.’ … The man turned around and my father turned back to talk to us…

National survey on interracial relationships leaves out Asians

yellow missing piece of the puzzleAsians? What are those? I guess we were all too busy getting good grades and doing kung fu to take time to talk to The Gallup Poll about interracial relationships:

The Gallup Poll published their findings from their annual Minority Rights and Relations poll. Part of the survey questioned Americans on how they feel about interracial relationships — specifically between blacks and whites. Not surprisingly, they didn’t bother to survey people’s attitudes on any other couple configurations! :| Next, they surveyed people on their own dating trends. Apparently, Asians and Native Americans (if we are going by the usual 5 category “racial” breakdown) are not important enough to figure into any of this. The survey asked white, latino and black correspondents whether or not they had ever dated other races, including Asian, interestingly enough. But then Asians were not included in the questioning at all. Strange to say the least.

Roll Bounce tackles mixed race identity

Jen issued the following challenge:

Anyone brave enough to check out Roll Bounce to see how they handle the character, Mixed Mike? :) He’s played by Khleo Thomas… Interesting that “mixed” is a part of his nickname…don’t know if that would be a likely term used to nickname someone in the 70s though…eh! Accuracy shmaccuracy!

And guess who took her up on it? That’s right – yours truly! If there’s one thing I can’t pass up, it’s a movie where there’s a guaranteed dance-off. And if that dance-off happens on rollerskates, in full-on 70s regalia to disco classics, even better! So how was it?

Well, too much character development, too much talking and not enough dancing/rollerskating. I was also disappointed that they didn’t follow the usual “Man it sucks that our community center is going to close down. If only we had exactly $3,496 to keep it open. Oh look at this poster for a talent contest! The prize money for the first place winner is $3,496! Let’s enter the competition!” And cue the montage

Oh you want to know about their handling of mixed race identity? Well, this is definitely an example of the yeah-he’s-mixed-no-biggie approach, which we do think is an improvement over the traditional tragic mulatto archetype. His mixedness mainly comes up when his friends are horsing around and snapping on each other. They tease him about being white, but he has some good comebacks, that kind of thing. It all seemed very natural and in line with what you’d expect from a bunch of pre-pubescent boys. :)

Eurasians “scientifically” proven to be the most beautiful people

eurasians are too sexy for this songJen and I are hotter than Halle Berry just because we’re Asian and white, according to this hack “scientific” study. Not only did no one seem to question the methodology behind this study, but it was then quoted ad nauseum by hybrid vigor-loving folks in publications including Psychology Today. Ugh.

In the first study of its kind, Caucasians and Asians rated average Eurasian faces as more attractive than average faces of either race. They also judged Eurasian faces to be healthier, giving credence to theory that beauty is not solely determined by culture and the media, but has biological origins.

The study’s leader, Professor Gillian Rhodes, of the University of Western Australia, said the results suggested “our preferences are shaped by evolution.”

Madonna Angelina shopping for a new kid

So goes the cycle of celebrity news. A year ago this month, Angelina talked about wanting to adopt yet another child, after having adopted Maddox from Cambodia and Zahara from Ethiopia. Today of course, we’re all abuzz about Madonna’s potentially illegal adoption of a boy from Malawi:

So what corner of the globe will Jolie adopt from next? “There are so many wonderful places. There are many parts of Asia, Africa, South America, so sooner or later I’ll end up everywhere, I’m sure.”

Yes, I’ve grown out of collecting Beanie Babies so now I’m into collecting real babies. Who needs a Fendi spy bag when you can accessorize with brown, yellow, black babies instead?

Mimicking/mocking black people at “ghetto parties”

We first started noticing this trend about a year ago and unfortunately, it’s still going strong. It’s popular among high school and college students to throw “thug” or “ghetto” parties, at which people dress up in baggy jeans, wear gold fronts, big jewelry, and doorags to mimic their idea of “thugs.” Click here for pics from what looks like a real party that happened in 2004:

These special kids don’t limit their mimicry to blacks, though. They have been known to get geared up for “Fiesta Day,” too, which is meant to “honor” Hispanic heritage. How this activity can be thought of as “honoring” is beyond me. One kid showed up with a LEAF BLOWER. Yea, real respectful…

What is to blame for these ridiculously insensitive displays? Perhaps the fact that they are living in their own “White Bubble.” Without exposure to people of other races, they buy into the stereotypes — so much so, that they even celebrate them. God, imagine what it was like to be one of the SIX black students at this school on thug day?!